Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) – Table Service
I was super excited to try out the new Jungle Cruise themed restaurant at Magic Kingdom. After all, the Jungle Cruise is one of my favorite attractions – I even was a Jungle Skipper for Halloween one year! It’s tucked away in Adventureland, across from the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse with multiple rooms for you to explore and loads of “artifacts” hanging on the walls. Rumor has it that there are some props from the old Adventurer’s Club (sniff sniff). It was a rainy night while we were there so I don’t know if that kept the crowds away or the unique menu but we were seated right away among few diners. The menu is a sampling of Asia, South America and Africa. Personally, I was excited about the menu but knew I’d have some trouble with my picky four year old.
We started with the Arepas –“A trip down the Amazon” with Slow-cooked Beef, Black Beans, Tostones and Queso Fresco” according to the menu. These were super delicious! Each component was tasty on its own but combined with the other items yummy! Now I sort of let myself down on dinner. I was so stuffed from all the other heavy foods I’d been eating for days, the Baladi Salad sounded so refreshing! It’s a “Classic Egyptian Salad consisting of a mix of Hearts of Romaine, Green Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Parsley and Ambasha Bread tossed with Garlic-Coriander Vinaigrette.” It was a great salad, full of flavor and the toasted Ambasha bread added to its deliciousness.
My family tried the Char Siu Pork – “Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin Medallions served with Chinese Broccoli and choice of Five-grain or White Rice” and Skip’s Mac & Cheese – “A typical Egyptian dish consisting of Spiced Ground Beef, Pasta, and Béchamel Sauce served with Broccoli.” Both dishes had quite a kick to them but were pretty good. A non-adventurous eater might not feel comfortable here but they do have some toned down meals like grilled chicken and steak salad.
Where we ran into a problem was with my 4 year old, who is beyond picky. Now, I’ve read a lot on Facebook groups and blogs bashing parents who complained about the unique kids menu and condemning those parents for allowing their kids to eat nothing but chicken nuggets but let’s face it, unless you’ve dealt with a picky eater it’s tough. My kid has been picky since she started eating food. She survives on yes, chicken nuggets, pb&j sandwiches, pasta, fruit and veggies more or less. But we have a game where for every ten new foods she tries she gets a prize. So I sympathize with other parents whose kids are picky. With that in mind, the kids menu here is very limited. You have Skip’s Mac & Cheese, grilled fish, grilled steak, arepas and chicken noodle soup. Since I knew my kid wouldn’t eat any of this I saw that the kids meals were served with broccoli, one ofher favorites, so I ordered her a side of that. Her dad’s meal came with rice so I figured she’d eat that as well. Well, the broccoli ended up being Chinese broccoli and the rice was either Jasmine or Basmati so there was no fooling my kid. I asked for some plain pasta like what was in Skip’s Mac & Cheese (which she tried and did not like). I was told they didn’t have any because it was pre-made. So we hurriedly ate our dinner, popped into Peco’s Bills where the poor kid was starving by now and devoured an Uncrustable, a bag of grapes and a bag of baby carrots. Poor planning on my part.
Overall, despite the hiccups trying to feed my kid, I really enjoyed Skipper Canteens. I would definitely come back again (perhaps with some chicken nuggets in my purse). Give it a shot!
Overall rating: B+ – good food and décor, would like to see them add some other options to the kids menu.